No Marshmallows, Just Term Papers
SOCIAL SCIENCE DILIMAN (December 2011) 7:2, 1-29.
RIZAL’S LEGACY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: PROGRESSIVE EDUCATION, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN DAPITAN
Rizal’s four years in Dapitan have not been fully explored for the light they can shed on contemporary issues in community development and education. In particular, the significance of the school he founded in Talisay has not merited scholarly commentary. Those fruitful four years in Dapitan have become Rizal’s most unappreciated legacy, yet they are precisely what make Rizal singularly relevant to the 21st century. This essay explains why.
Keywords: Dapitan, Talisay, progressive education, community development, social entrepreneurship, Jose Rizal Prologue Dapitan in Zamboanga del Norte has always celebrated its town fiesta with fireworks, from the Spanish colonial era to today’s Republic. Fireworks, as the Chinese had taught us, are meant to drive away the demons and bring cheer for happier and more prosperous days. Dapitan’s fiesta on July 24,1892 seemed like any other fiesta when firecrackers blew up in the hands of a careless man. But as he writhed helplessly in pain—the bystanders could do nothing but look on in pity—an unknown doctor hurried down from Casa Real to attend to him. This was the distinguished doctor who had just arrived days before and that propitious night was his introduction to the people of Dapitan and the neighboring towns. The doctor’s name was Jose Rizal.1 Within a year, the newcomer would be more esteemed and revered than Dapitan’s pompous overlords. Wenceslao Retana, in his now classic 1907 Vida y Escritos del Dr. Jose Rizal, the first full-length documented biography of Rizal, recounts:
The townsfolk adored and revered him. “Dr Rizal!” people would call out, with great respect, upon seeing him pass by: they doffed
ISSN 1655-1524 Print / ISSN 2012-0796 Online
RIZAL’S LEGACY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY